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New section on TheSite.org - Step Finder

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hey peeps :wave:

We wanted to let you all know that we've recently launched a new section on TheSite.org called Step Finder (www.thesite.org/stepfinder) this is an exciting project for us and we want you, members of our current community, to know how you can use it. It's still in the early stages and as it develops you'll begin to see more links to it from across TheSite.org.

We'd like to get your views on it, to see how you feel about the way we're describing it and ultimately to start to see more activity on it :thumb:

Firstly, take a look at these sections:

The homepage - http://www.thesite.org/stepfinder

About Step Finder - http://www.thesite.org/stepfinder/content.php/11-About-Step-Finder

How useful were these in explaining what the Step Finder is for? Be great if you could have a think about whether or not you feel you could now summarise the Step Finder in a couple of sentences. Don't worry if you feel this is too difficult, if you feel you wouldn't know how to start explaining it, then that's a sign we need to improve the information we're providing.

Secondly, we've put together a series of questions and answers that we've predicted you might have relating to this new section (with help from the lovely Randomgirl) and it would be good to know if you'd like further clarification on anything.

1. Does this change anything about the current discussion boards?

In a word, no. We are still committed to hosting the current boards and live chat service to function in exactly the same way as they do now.

2. Isn't this just another discussion board?

TheSite.org boards offer an effective way for members to get immediate help with a problem or question that is affecting them right now. As you know, people post threads about their experiences hoping for quick replies relating to their present situation. Generally speaking, members won't expect to be getting advice for a specific issue weeks or months later. They may well post a new thread as an extension to their problem, perhaps to update on progress, but this often still relates to a time specific issue that they are actually experiencing right now.

The Step Finder is still focussed on providing help for problems, but it is a step back from aiming to tackle problems in the moment. It's more aimed at finding collaborative solutions for issues, potentially with the benefit of hindsight, away from the immediate pressures of the situation.

For example, on Step Finder there may be a discussion on 'What's the best way to get past a receptionist in your local clinic?' inviting lots of people to reply explaining barriers they've experienced and solutions they've identified. The closest example on the boards that I can find to something that is similar to this approach and could be a Step Finder discussion is this:

Now imagine a forum where all of the discussions are coming from this angle and you have a picture of what you can expect to find in the Step Finder forum. Hopefully this shows that this is still a service that will address personal experience, but people are using it to collaboratively solve ongoing issues rather than to get very specific personal replies in the moment.

The other key difference is that the forum is just one element of Step Finder. We hope step finder discussions will help to join together the more social interactive bits of TheSite.org, with the more static content such as the articles on TheSite.org.

For example, using the example question above, we would hope to have an article that people could access offering them advice on how to get past the receptionist in their local clinic. These will not be editorialised, complete articles like the sort on TheSite.org itself, but ones that can be developed and added to as we go along using elements from the discussions and other areas. You may have also notice the personal stories section which adds a further dimension to both identifying and overcoming barriers and allows people to share their stories for the benefit of others. We hope to link to these discussions and community articles from relevant pages across the rest of TheSite.org.

3. Why isn't there single sign-in? (Why can't I use the same login for TheSite.org boards and Step Finder?)

Step Finder is an opt-in part of TheSite.org. This means we didn't want to assume that everyone who is already a member of TheSite.org boards would also want to be a member of this. We're aware that this means there might be issues with usernames (if you want a particular name you might have to bag it quickly!) but it also offers people the chance to pick a different username to that which they're already using and be more so or less so anonymous on Step Finder. This might be dependent on how you see yourself using it ? e.g. I'd like to contribute to discussions, write a personal story or help to write articles and be credited for my input officially.

4. OK, I think I'm starting to get this now, can you just explain a little bit more about why you've created this? TheSite.org already has discussions, it already has articles and it has askTheSite...

There's a lot of information and advice on TheSite.org already. But, we don't want to be a service that provides links or information while not really understanding why people can't actually always follow them up. We don't want people to come away from TheSite.org thinking 'well that's all very well but I can't do that because...?

We've started thinking about the reasons people might think this. We've come across examples of people facing barriers to support in live chats, in TheSite.org community, during training for advisors, in our personal lives, in the work others are doing and through online consultation, all over the place in fact. Have a look at this slide show for some examples of the sort of barriers people might face in some example areas;


Our vision is that Step Finder will help explore these barriers in detail and arm people will the knowledge and confidence to find the right steps for them.

So, that's all there is to say for now, a fair bit to take in! We're really keen to hear your thoughts on Step Finder in your own time.



  • plugitinplugitin Noob Posts: 2,197 The Mix Regular
    I bumped into step finder the other day whilst trying to find something else... thumbs up from me thus far :)
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